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Item #0000102229

Master and Margarita (c.2019)

from Palekh by Ekaterina Bykova
11.25" x 5.25" x 2.00"(28.58 x 13.34 x 5.08 cm)

Gallery Price: $ 2995.00
Internet Price: $ 2895.00
None currently available
The theme of Palekh artist Ekaterina Bykova's box is the classic novel by Mikhail Bulgakov "Master and Margarita", a story that travels back and forth between the early days in the Soviet Union and the time of Pontius Pilate and Yeshua Ha-Notsri (Jesus of Nazareth). Rather than go into details of the story (which is fairly complex) we suggest you to read the wikipedia entry on the book, which is a pretty good summary. Or read the book itself. You won't regret it!.

Bykova presents the main characters of the novel in this large horizontal box, all easily recognizable to the viewer. Woland (the Devil) wearing a black coat and his retinue, including Behemoth the cat, take center stage, and each posture in ways that reveal parts of their personalities. Leafy trees, in gorgeous shades of yellows, oranges ochres and browns frame the foursome and are reminiscent of the park where the novel begins. At the left, Pilate kneels with his dog next to a patch of red roses. A vase is toppled over beside him spilling out a red liquid, symbolic of the blood Pilate will have on his hands. Jesus and old Jerusalem loom behind Pilate and rays of sunlight radiate out from the halo around Christ's head. At the far right is the Master (a writer) and Margarita, his devoted lover and soul mate. Behind them looms the trolley, which had a dramatic appearance early in the novel. On the bottom edge of the drawing, flames shoot up from a book, which was the masterpiece novel that the Master had been working on for so long, but which had been censored by the Soviet authorities. Out of discouragement the Master burned the book himself. Religious crosses, relevant to the content of his novel, can be seen amid the flames. Bykova painted burning pages on the side, as well, and the effect there is quite unique. It should be said, though, that the phrase "manuscripts don't burn" comes from this novel, so all hope is not lost for the fate of his book. The faces of each character on this box fit perfectly with what can be imagined in the novel itself. There is a delicate amount of fine gold detailing that doesn't overwhelm the drawing but subtly complements it. The box, viewed in parts, is stunning. Taken as a whole, though, it is is a true masterpiece, and brings the novel to life in glorious images and color. The box is made out of papier mache and sits on four small legs. It has a hinge at the top . It is signed at the bottom of the drawing by the artist, the village and the title of the piece Master and Margarita.

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